I’m really annoyed with [as]

I know I have better things to do right now: pay bills, finish my taxes, take care of some chores that have been sitting incomplete for weeks. Still I have a need to take a minute to vent about [Adult Swim]. I haven’t posted in months and yet tonight’s showing of the awful, sad, depraved The Room was just the last straw. Maybe I needed Tom Servo and Crow to guide me while watching but I just didn’t get the April Fool’s joke here.

This isn’t the network I used to watch for a solid three hours every night. This isn’t even the network that I would tune into every now and then and be presently surprised to find something new on. I’m wondering if I’ve changed as I’ve grown older or has the staff of [Adult Swim] transformed over the years? They’ve been on what I view as a juvenile, downward spiral of low budget animation and cheap live action shows for a few years now. I know that money doesn’t make a show necessarily better but can we consistently have animation that doesn’t look like it was drawn by a three year old? Can we not attempt a parodies of old Krofft shows filmed in a garage with a green screen, annoying characters and inane plots? Half of the new shows over the last few years make me wonder if I need to be on something to fully enjoy them. Why? I expect better than internet quality programming on the TV, not worse.
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Go Ape!

What does Battlestar Galactica have to do with Planet of the Apes and what does Planet of the Apes have to do with The Incredible Hulk?

If you’ve not yet seen the Battlestar Galactica mid-season cliffhanger “Revelations”, you’re missing out. While not the most emotionally moving episode nor the most action packed, it does reveal a lot to the show’s characters as the clandestine final four of five cylons are brought out to the open. The results range from shocking to devastating to the Galactica crew. More importantly, its final minutes hit hard with an unexpected final revelation.

Spoilers after the jump…
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Shipoopi Is For Real?

One of this past weekend’s Family Guy episodes was “Patriot Games” which features a crazy musical number called “Shipoopi.” I didn’t think too much of it when it first aired but for some reason I decided to find out the origin of Shipoopi after seeing it again. Not only is Shipoopi a real song (which I guess shouldn’t surprise me since pretty much everything in Family Guy is lifted from something else) but the Family Guy version is more entertaining than the classic Music Man movie version.

Seth MacFarlane’s singing sounds better and richer to me than Buddy Hackett’s rendition. (And we know how awful Peter Griffin sounds.) Still he comes across with more feeling. The direction and cinematography in the Music Man is too distant and feels too much like watching the theater production. I know what they were going for back then, showing the complete choreography and letting audiences know that the performers could really perform, letting them feel like they saw the Broadway original. Unfortunately what it has in energy and synchronization it lacks in emotional connection to that song. Maybe it worked better on the big screen in Cinemascope? In any case, I think really great musical numbers should be able to survive out of context from the rest of their shows which the Music Man’s Shipoopi doesn’t do very well. As much as I sometimes dislike Family Guy’s single track mind of harpooning and reeling in of past works to be put on display for a new generation, the show is unmatched in making that approach work.

Compare for yourself. Which do you like better?
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Live Action Saturday Morning

So, I recently became a father. Among the myriad of things on my mind these days, one of them is oddly what kind of TV or online shows will my daughter be watching while growing up? As a kid, there wasn’t much selection. There were the three major networks and a few syndicated channels in the UHF bands. Of course there were no dedicated Disney channels, cartoon channels or general kids channels. The best variety was available in those brief hours Saturday morning of back-to-back cartoons and super hero live action shows was a weekly treasure. I remember going to Hawaii with my family one Summer and through the whole trip I was wondering if we’d make it back in time for the Fall Saturday morning cartoon premiers. There were prime time Fall lineup preview shows that almost made me salivate at the thought of new adventures for old favorites and new characters to come to know. These days, with so many choices, I wonder if children develop a real bond and fondness for what they’re watching or is it simply something to pass the time between toy commercials?

Filmation Panel at Comic-Con 2007

At Comic-Con this year, a lot of the Saturday morning joy came flooding back when I attended the Filmation panel. Filmation was the alternative to Disney and WB cartoons through the 70s and early 80s. The animation was relatively cheap and employed frequent stock footage but the action was good and there was a clear moral message in many of the shows and episodes. They had a wide variety of original and licensed IP including Batman, Tarzan, Star Trek, He-Man and She-Ra. What felt really unique for the time was Filmation’s venture beyond animation to create original live-action shows. The Comic-Con Filmation panel gathered together some original cast members from two of the shows, Jason of Star Command and The Secret of Isis, including character actor and recently revitalized horror movie star Sig Haig. Former Filmation head Lou Scheimer was also present.
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